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British Industrial History

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George Baden Crawley

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George Baden Crawley (1833-1879)

Born in St Pancras, London in 1833;[1] died on the 25th of September 1879, while disembarking from the steam ship City of Alexandria.[2]


1879 Obituary [3]

We regret to record the sudden death of Mr. George B. Crawley, the well-known contractor.

A correspondent, "H. M. B.," writing to the Times from Harrow, December 3, says: "A remarkable man has just met with an untimely end by a lamentable accident. Mr. George B. Crawley, well known in many parts of the world for his large operations as a railway contractor, started a few weeks since for Mexico. He reached Vera Cruz on Sunday last, and while landing was struck on the head by something falling from a ship. He died within three hours.

“Mr. Crawley was from his early youth a man of quite extraordinary energy. Whatever he, took up he did vigorously and well. His many Harrow friends will remember his feats on the cricket-field, and some may recollect how he made the winning hit in the match with Eton at Lord's in 1851. He subsequently became one of the best tennis player of his time, and within the last year, before he started for Therapia, might be seen playing with Mr. Heathcote at Brighton.

“For a short time he was trained as a lawyer, but his adventurous spirit prompted him to give up the law and engage in daring enterprise abroad. Among the many works which he planned and carried out may be named two railways in Belgium, two railways in Spain, the markets at Madrid, a railway from Vera Cruz to Mexico, and a railway of nearly 300 miles from Tiflis to Poti. His last work was a railway from Ploesti, in Roumania, to Cronstadt, in Hungary, but this was interrupted in consequence of the recent war.

“Mr. Crawley, though not a politician, was an acute political observer. Few men could detail with equal vividness the melancholy events which culminated in the execution of the Emperor Maximilian. Few men could describe with greater authority the ominous subterranean workings, little suspected by the world at large, which issued at last in the well-prepared eruption known in history as the Bulgarian massacres. This is not the place to speak of the many genial and generous qualities which endeared Mr. Crawley to his friends. His sudden death will be lamented by many men of very various pursuits in many lands, and not least by his old schoolfellows, one of whom, who admired his courage and energy, asks to be permitted to inscribe these few lines to his memory."


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. Board of Guardian Records, 1834-1906 and Church of England Parish Registers, 1754-1906. London Metropolitan Archives, London.
  2. Principal Probate Registry. Calendar of the Grants of Probate and Letters of Administration made in the Probate Registries of the High Court of Justice in England.
  3. Engineering 1879 Jul-Dec: Index: General Index